‘SPRING’ IS ON ITS WAY AT SOUTHWELL: Daqman goes nap on a horse called ‘Spring’ in a bumper at Southwell today, with no Flat racing in England. He thinks Osgood can score at Stratford.

Bonnie Brae, Mayson and Imperial Monarch. What do they have in common? Answer: all three of yesterday’s 20-1, 13-2 and 9-5 winners have been in my horses-to-follow lists.

And the only one of my recent Ten that I napped this week, as the mud got in the way of everybody’s judgment, and scuppered much of the obvious form, was Golden Lilac (still running).

I tipped Bonnie Brae but could I have gone big on it when the stable had had only four winners this season? I didn’t even give a ‘mench’ to Mayson, since his excuse last time was ‘heavy ground’ and here he was back on ‘heavy ground.’

Maybe the only way through the mud is to stick to your guns, head down with the horses you list for quality, though the safer route with horses to follow is to try to spot when conditions are right.

I suppose the answer at the moment is that conditions are not right for any but the lucky few with webbed feet, and it’s the survival of the fittest. It certainly was with another Saturday shocker, Kings Warrior (won 33-1).

Warrior was withdrawn from the sales at the last minute because trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam said he was ‘jumping out of his skin’ at home (the horse not Peter; that doesn’t bear thinking about).

I correctly forecast that Chapple-Hyam was about to crest the wave, and sure enough I tipped one of his. Which one did I go for? Agent Allison. Result (please, on your day of rest Lord, give me no more irony): withdrawn because of ‘heavy ground.’

It can be like that with punting: you get it wrong, even though you get it right. You need eyes in the back of your computer brain.

Reminds me of a trip to the seaside I made as a young adult, trying to impress my girlfriend on the shooting range (Definition of ‘seaside’: a place we used to go when the sun was hot).

‘Win me a teddy bear!’ she pleaded. I said I would try, knowing that, at that particular venue, the race was fixed; sorry, I mean the barrels on the Winchester rifles were ‘off true’. The game was bent.

Yes, real bullets; real guns in those happy days before ‘health and safety’; but ‘not sighted’ as we would say in racing. Or rather, if you lined up the rifle sights, you would miss the target.
Sure-fire thing.. for the stallholder, that is.

So I aimed one along the sights; missed centre by an inch or so and hit the outer of the target card. ‘Try again,’ beamed the man taking the money.

‘Do I get the bear, if I hit the bull this time?’ Thinking he had a mug in the bag, and fancying a bit of a flirt with my lady friend, he grinned: Yeh, why not.’

I corrected my aim by the said inch and a bit, and pinged my second shot through the bull. ‘That’s cheating!’ yer man moaned. ‘No this is cheating,’ I replied waving my hand at the row of rifles, as my girlfriend picked up the teddy bear.

Meanwhile, the going at Fairyhouse today, is heavy. I wish I had Mayson’s trainer, Richard Fahey, with me. He knows the difference between Newcastle heavy (Mayson unplaced 7-1) and Newmarket heavy (Mayson won 20-1).

What’s ‘Fairyhouse heavy’ like, Richard? Comes the likely reply: ‘I don’t know, I’m jumping at Southwell.’

Perversely, the ground at Southwell is good. Perversely, the Irishman runs Kingdom Of Munster on the most English of English tracks, the frying-pan at Rolleston Junction.

Kingdom of Munster has the right form to win this seller (3.10): on a ‘mammoth losing run’ and ‘below par’ in a maiden claimer at Wetherby last time, according to the Racing Post Spotlight.

Quite how you can be ‘below par’ when you’ve never really ‘parred’ anything in your life; we are not told.

Must be 100-1, I mumbled, as I cursored to the orange on my beloved Betdaq. But, no, 5.4!

Such is the quality the BHA bring you on a Sunday in July (there isn’t even a Flat meeting). I think I’ll put me mac and me wellies on, and go to the seaside.

* Hoofnote: Next runner in my horses-to-follow list is likely to be Nathaniel in the King George at Ascot on Saturday.

BET 6.6pts win DANIMIX (1.40 Southwell)
BET 4.4pts win GORDON LORD BYRON and 1.5pts win (stakes saver) AFTER (3.05 Fairyhouse)
BET 3.5pts win OSGOOD (3.20 Stratford)
BET 11pts win (nap) SPRINGINHERSTEP (5.10 Southwell)

* Daqman’s selections are backed to win 20 points (unless otherwise stated) so, if you divide 20 by his stake, you know the Betdaq offer taken at the time of writing.

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